Bronlynn Thurman is a program officer at GAR Foundation. She works to advance the Foundation’s strategic priorities through the assessment and review of grant inquiries, primarily focusing on equity in community and economic development and arts in education.

An Akron native, Bronlynn has devoted her career to the nonprofit sector and joined GAR in 2016. Prior to joining GAR full-time, she worked at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as a Program Associate focusing on public space and civic engagement.

Currently, she serves on several area boards and committees, including the board of Akron200; Akron Civic Commons core team; City of Akron Bicentennial Commission; City of Akron Planning Commission; Elevate Greater Akron’s core team and strategy groups, and the Fund For Our Economic Future board as a non-voting member.

Bronlynn was a 2024 One Hope-One Dream award recipient, named 2021 Community Member of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter Region II, and a 30 For the Future award recipient in 2019. She is an alumnus of Big Picture Learning’s Ashé Leaders Fellowship.

Bronlynn received a Bachelor’s in Advertising and her Master’s in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management - User Experience Design from Kent State University.

In her free time, Bronlynn co-runs Black Women Explore, a local outdoor recreation group for women and femme-identifying folks of color, and the Coffee and Cocktails Book Club. She’s an avid hiker and long distance cyclist. 

Believe it or not: Bronlynn starred in a regional Emmy-award-winning video for the Akronite app.